Dems Threaten to Kill Health Care Bill Over Abortion

Bart Stupak says he's got the votes to derail it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2009 9:23 AM CST
Bart Stupak says he can get the votes to block health care legislation in the House if his abortion concerns aren't addressed.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – The House is barreling towards a health care vote, hoping to pass its bill by the end of the week, but there’s a potential stumbling block ahead: abortion. A group of socially conservative Democrats are threatening to vote against the bill because the subsidies it offers to help people buy insurance could be used to buy plans that cover abortion.

“I will continue whipping my colleagues…until a clean vote against public funding for abortion is allowed,” said Bart Stupak of Michigan, who says he can get 40 Democrats to vote against the bill with him—enough to derail it. A provision in the bill tasks insurers with making sure public money doesn’t fund abortions, but Stupak’s contingent says that’s just an accounting distinction. Pro-choice groups counter that doing more would effectively ban private insurance coverage for abortions.